Back to work solutions for COVID-19
25 May 2021
Nina Wyers offers practical solutions and innovations to limit the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.
IT IS a hopeful time for the UK, there is light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel? Yes, we are leading the world with our amazing vaccine program. We are slowly being able to meet more loved ones and are starting to return to some normal daily and social activities. Yet we must not become complacent to the dangers still present. Many people have lost loved ones over the last 12 months or are still suffering the awful effects of Long Covid. Even though we have our vaccine rollout in place, there is still a way to go and sadly the fact remains, people will continue to contract Covid-19 and some will sadly still succumb to this awful disease.
Whilst writing this article, The Floorbrite Group are continuing to unfurlough our cleaning staff and are helping our customers reopen and return to their workplaces safely. Over the last year we have delivered numerous articles to cut through the confusion and mountain of information about how to tackle Covid-19 in the workplace. To further aid this campaign we have created a new stripped back and simple brochure including some great solutions to help you give your employees, customers and visitors, peace of mind in your workplaces. Take a look here Back to Work Solutions for Covid-19 Brochure.
Stopping the spread of Coronavirus has forced businesses to revisit their entire infection control method. Let’s strip it back and look at the key areas to focus on. Germs and pathogens can be spread in three key ways:
- Person to Person
- Air to Person
- Surface to Person.
We are keeping it simple and offering the best of our solutions for each of the above.
Person to Person
The guidelines are clear. Wear a face covering in public spaces where you could be at risk such as shops and public transport. Stay alert to the risks that may be present as pubs, restaurants and the leisure sectors continue to open. Continue to wash and sanitise your hands frequently. On that note, our first solution comes from the Sanitise Now, hand sanitiser range.
80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by our hands. Sanitise Now provide essential sanitising solutions to companies and venues across the world, keeping employees and customers protected from bacteria and viruses. We offer both free standing and wall mounted hand dispenser options for any location. There is also a brilliant customisable feature to add your branding to the units, creating a great advertising space and a fantastic way to get your brand noticed.
Air to Person
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises that Coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person via aerosols in the air.
All businesses will want to offer reassurance to staff and customers. The reality is customers will be looking for contractors to offer solutions to COVID-19 that will eliminate or greatly reduce exposure for their workforce or public. They will be keen to demonstrate that they have provided the latest in innovation in order to give staff and public, peace of mind and confidence in returning to work and public spaces.
Our next solution VIRUSKILLER, purifies the air, Drawing contaminated air from the breathing zone. VIRUSKILLER units kill 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass and are proven to kill Coronavirus in the air. (When Independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio, the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass.)
The innovative VIRUSKILLER technology is designed to draw air into the unit, treat it and then send clean air back into the room. Thanks to the unique filtration process, reactor chamber and UV-C technology, contaminated air is constantly being removed and replaced with clean, fresh air.
All units are also proven and tested to destroy a wide range of other airborne pollutants and there are 4 size options to suit any environment.
If your building has been vacant for some time, you may also want to test and check your risk of Legionella. Under health and safety law, you have a duty to ensure that your water system is as low risk as is reasonably possible to help prevent bacterial growth and the subsequent health hazards to the building’s occupants.
Surface to Person
Business owners must plan a robust ongoing hygiene program to give their employees and customers peace of mind and confidence in returning to them. Wiping surfaces once each day will not suffice if the surface becomes infected 5 minutes later. Increased cleaning frequencies to high touch point areas is now a basic priority.
All businesses will want to offer reassurance to staff and customers by having a more visual and on demand cleaning system in place. Cleaning is no longer reserved for after hours when everyone has gone home. How well your premises is cleaned will become a badge of honour, to market to your customers, to promote as being the safest, the cleanest, the healthiest, the most conscious, the most innovative, the most Covid-free.
We recommend a focus on preventative rather than reactive measures. The key is lasting decontamination and disinfection of surfaces, not to be confused with cleaning alone. Cleaning a surface is not the same as disinfecting it, but it is a very important step in the process that people are missing out. The cleaning process involves scrubbing an area with soap and water to remove dirt, grime and surface biofilm, while disinfecting means applying a chemical to kill the residual germs and viruses that remain afterwards.
Understanding of the differences between disinfectants is also important. Antibacterial or Antimicrobial? Whilst the majority believe that using an antibacterial cleaner will protect them against viruses, they would be wrong. Antibacterial disinfectants and cleaners can still kill bacteria and prevent the development of bacteria-induced illnesses, but they are completely ineffective against viruses. So, if you want to be sure you are using a cleaning product that is effective against bacteria and viruses, always opt for an antimicrobial cleaner and check which viruses it is effective against. Disinfectants also need to sit on a surface before it kills germs. Some disinfectants take 10 minutes, while others only about 30 seconds but once the chemical is dry, the surface can become re-contaminated immediately if exposed to a pathogen.
Coronavirus can live on surfaces like paper for approximately 3 hours, cardboard 24 hours, cloth 2 days, stainless steel and some plastics for approximately 2-3 days and glass 4 days. So how can all surfaces remain decontaminated for longer than a few minutes? There are solutions available that can do just this. Some antimicrobial solutions like Zoono are proven to remain effective against for up to 30 days, but you must do your homework when sourcing the right product for you.
Antimicrobial products can be sprayed and wiped in a standard trigger spray bottle but are most effective when delivered by electrostatic spraying or fogging systems for full decontamination. Electrostatic spray guns and fogging machines produce an ultra-fine mist of chemical, ceiling to floor and with a number of specialist chemicals, will deliver positively charged molecules that are attracted to crevices and even the undersides of surfaces and hard to reach areas, ensuring no surface is left untouched. This kind of service should be conducted by specialist teams when areas are vacant. Depending on the chemical used, the molecules can remain active on surfaces for up to 30 days and daily routine cleaning will not remove or disrupt them.
When applied to a surface by spraying. wiping or 'fogging'; these specialist chemicals leave behind a mono-molecular layer that permanently bonds to the surface. These molecules are antimicrobial, silane based polymers that permanently bond to the surface forming a barrier of positively charged microscopic pins.
The positively charged microscopic pins attract and pierce the negatively charged pathogens. The pins rupture the cell walls. This causes the pathogen to break up with lethal effect. This method of rupturing the cell means the cell cannot mutate, preventing the development of superbugs.
Perfect across all sectors including office, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, transport and education sectors and many more where there is a high footfall of traffic and ongoing high risk of contamination.
If you would like more information about any of the insights discussed in this article please take a look at our Back to Work Solution for Covid-19 Brochure or visit https://www.floorbrite.co.uk/coronavirus/ for more detailed information about each service or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nina Wyers is marketing & brand director at the Floorbrite Group